TARA the Labrador cross liked nothing better than eating up the biscuit crumbs dropped by her owner's children - until the day disaster struck.
The mischievous pooch sniffed out the remains of some shortbread which had fallen on to a paper shredder in her owner's Craigentinny home.
But as she stuck her tongue to retrieve the tasty *** bit she activated the machine, trapping her tongue which left her howling in agony.
Her frantic yelping alerted owner Linda Brown who ran across the living room of her home in Loganlea Road to find her pet bleeding badly.
The injured dog had to undergo two operations on her mouth, and had to have one-third of her badly-damaged tongue amputated.
Mother-of-three Miss Brown said the 12-year-old Labrador cross was lucky not to have died.
She said: "It was horrific. It will haunt me for ever more.
"I think the children were eating shortbread and they must have dropped some of it on the shredder. The next thing I heard was the dog screaming. I came running across the room.
"We couldn't get near her at first, she was squealing and moving her head in sheer panic. I had to grab her and pull the shredder off her tongue. The blood was unbearable.
"We thought maybe she'd just shredded the tip of her tongue, then the younger one said what we thought was congealed blood was actually part of her tongue."
Linda, 43, and her nine-year-old daughter Cody stayed up with the dog all night on Thursday, November 23, keeping her calm.
The dog was taken to Abercorn Veterinary Clinic in Portobello first thing on Friday morning.
Vet Jim Penman operated on Tara twice. He said: "I've never seen anything like that before. It's a freak accident.
"The dog's tongue looked like something that had come through a pasta machine - just strings hanging down.
"It's lost about a third of its tongue. We had to amputate it."
"The dog has coped remarkably well. The major blood vessels run along the tongue in the same direction as the cuts, and fortunately they escaped injuries. The big problem will be difficulty drinking, but it's managing to drink water out of a bucket."
He said most accidents in the home involved pets swallowing objects.
He said: "We've seen animals chewing electric cables or swallowing rubber bands. I've seen animals who've swallowed the centres of corn-on-the-cobs and they've had to be operated on."
Linda, a self-employed wages clerk who works from home, said Tara was now recovering well.
She said: "She's back to normal now, eating and drinking again. She's always been greedy, but this time it nearly killed her.
"This has highlighted the danger for any animal. So many people have shredders at home now and they never think about this. She could easily have died from the shock."
She bought the shredder two years ago from Woolworths, but said the dog had never gone near it before.
She said she often left it on, as it has to be switched off at the wall. It has a finger guard on it to prevent accidents.
A spokeswoman for Woolworths said they had no other reports of accidents with them, but they no longer sold this type of shredder.
She said: "All the shredders we currently sell feature an on/off switch as well as numerous safety warnings. Woolworths takes the health and safety of its customers very seriously."
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals warned pet owners to be particularly careful over the festive period.
She said: "I've never heard of anything like this before, but we do see a lot of accidents involving food. We once saw a dog that ate a whole Christmas cake, and raisins are toxic to dogs.
"At this time of year you should be extra careful - if you have flowers in your home they can kill your cat, and if you give your dog chocolate, make sure it's doggy chocolate."